TOM STRYKER’S FREE BASEBALL SELECTION THURSDAY, AUGUST 10TH
#916 TAMPA BAY RUN-LINE with Littell (-1′ +112) over St. Louis with Liberatore at 6:40 PM EST
Checking in hungry off last night’s 6-4 home loss to the Redbirds, the Devil Rays will have no trouble extending the margin in this interleague battle. Tampa Bay is sitting 2.0-games back in the hunt for the AL East lead and manager Kevin Cash can’t afford another blemish to a St. Louis squad that is resting 15.0-games under the .500 mark.
Picking up the pill for the home team will be right-hander Zack Littell. In a pair of starts against the Tigers and Astros, No. 52 threw very well allowing just two earned runs and 11 hits in 11.0 innings. Zack whiffed five and walked one on his way to a 2-0 mark with an elite 1.64 ERA. Overall, with 16 appearances for the Rays in the books including five starts, Littell was nicked for 13 earned runs and 39 hits in 32.2 frames. After the math, that adds up to a 2-2 record with a 3.58 ERA.
Southpaw Matthew Liberatore will get the nod for the Cards. Since July 1st, No. 52 has made three starts for the Redbirds and been punished for 12 earned runs and 18 hits in 10.1 innings of work. Matthew fanned two and issued four free passes on his way to an 0-2 record with a woeful 10.45 ERA. Overall, with two years in the books for the Cardinals (19 appearances and 16 starts), Liberatore has been slammed for 52 earned runs and 91 hits in 72.1 frames. That’s bad enough for a 3-6 tally with a pitiful 6.47 ERA.
Technically speaking, this is a lucrative spot for the home team. Tampa Bay has tasted victory in 75 of its last 103 when priced as a hefty favorite of -150 or higher and 40 of its last 52 priced as home chalk from –150 to -200 over the past two years. On the other side of the diamond, St. Louis has fallen in 45 of its last 72 at night.
After their last three blemishes, the Devil Rays responded by winning three straight and averaging 8.7 runs per game in the process. Take Tampa Bay on the run-line with Littell. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.
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